Your Health, Your Wealth

What Makes a Vagina “Healthy”?

Like many things in life, it’s all about balance. In a healthy vagina, there is a balance among many kinds of bacteria. That’s right—a healthy vagina is full of bacteria. Some kinds of bacteria are considered “good” while others are “bad.” Good bacteria help keep the vagina a little bit acidic. This keeps bad bacteria from growing too fast. Sometimes, though, the bad bacteria can take over and cause problems.

What can cause bacteria to get out of balance? Lots of things. Among them are antibiotics, douching, tight pants, vaginal products (sprays, lubricants, birth control devices), and pregnancy. You need to take good care of your vagina every time, mostly before, during and after menstrual period.

One sign that things are out of balance is discharge. Vaginal discharge isn’t always a problem—a healthy vagina does makes a discharge—slippery and clear or whitish when moist, may turn yellowish when dried, and has little odor. This healthy discharge may also be thicker during some parts of the month. Unhealthy discharge is different. It often has an odd color (yellow, greenish, gray or thick white) and may also have strong, unpleasant odour.

Discharge isn’t the only sign to watch out for, though. Swelling, itching or burning in and around the vagina can also signal a problem. These symptoms are referred to as vaginitis, a broad term to describe different types of vaginal infections. Vaginitis is very common, and most women will have vaginitis at some point in their lives—possibly several times if necessary care is not applied.

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